TODAY - The Newspaper for Country St. Maarten
Published On: Sun, Oct 22nd, 2017

Orchestrated sabotage and political spin

elton-jones-526x500By now we understand we were hit by a super storm like nothing before in the Atlantic hurricane basin. While opinions and sentiments abound as to our level of preparedness and actions before, during and after the storm, we should consider the process when a threat to life, property and the national interest becomes imminent.

Like with storms before this Irma, the EOC met many times to go over and rehash procedures to insure that all relevant branches were clear on what is their role and how deployment is to be executed. All uniformed services including the marines attended all of these meetings, the last one being on the fifth hour before the storm the following fore day.

There can be no spin of the Prime minister or the Governor not giving the order to deploy as this was preset and understood. So since this is the era of apologies let me tell you how I see it even though it cannot be proven. It seems like a deliberate act to embarrass government and there after spread malicious rumors to turn the population against the government.

As far as the conditions attached to the reconstruction funding is concerned, it is plain wicked, insensitive and political bribery of a partner in the Kingdom towards another. Can you imagine president Trump exacting from the Mexicans that they first agree to pay for his wall before he would give aid after the devastating earth quake?

Other members of the EU with territories in the Caribbean also provided aid but I haven’t heard of these preconditions. We have seen minister Koenders at the UN asking the world community to give generously towards the rebuilding of St. Maarten. They didn’t think it important this time to include a member of our government who surely could have made a better case, while for other less essential things the PMs of Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten were ask to represent the Kingdom at the UN.

We have seen where in the pass we missed out on “debt relief” because we didn’t present the correct information and then an issue where time was not mentioned we ran out of time and had to pay our own debts.

The first condition of establishing the Integrity Chamber by October 31st is exerting undue pressure on the government in Philipsburg because The Hague already knows that the draft ordinance is at the advisory council and still must be handled in parliament. What they are not saying is that Plasterk wants St. Maarten to go back to the initial draft with slight changes and giving the Dutch two members instead of the one as agreed after the meeting in the Netherlands with the Advisory Council (Raad van Staat).

It is also amazing that they want advice from this body to be binding, or rather handed down dictates, while the highest advisory body (Raad van Advies) advice is not. Moreover it will be nice to know who this Leijtens is and if he can pass the same screening our ministers and other high level civil servants are required to pass even after being in the job for years without any complaints.

As for the assistance with border control, the Marachaussee are already at the ports and involved. However, if your intention is to supply more manpower, most welcome but under the control of our minister of justice.

It is rather careless to put out figures before the exact magnitude of the catastrophe has been studied in a proper plan. What you are doing is setting people’s expectations high and later blame our government when you find all kind of excuses a la debt relief not to deliver.

We have already acknowledged that help is needed; we recognize that it can’t all be a grant and we are prepared to service any and all loans granted. As far as it concerns turning over the administration of this country however small to you, I can’t see that materializing without serious civil unrest.

Other concerns we have are statements to the fact that St. Maarten has to start looking more like the Kingdom, statements like this left to conjecture can leave some people with sinister thoughts. Also Plasterk position that the countries in the Kingdom have about 400.000 inhabitants while Holland has 17 million and what they want they must get is also ludicrous. Just imagine China with 1.3 billion inhabitants saying your seventeen million don’t count.

I guess these statements can be considered passé, since this minster’s ship has sailed, and his party member in parliament has declared him the worst minister of Kingdom Affairs ever. We can only look forward with hope to our dealings with the junior minister.

Cooperation and understanding is what is sought here. The constant attempts to set aside democratically elected officials or malign and insult them, however small their population is, does not and will not contribute to harmony in this Kingdom if that is what you truly seek.

Elton Jones